The Watering Hole; Th/Fr December 22/23 2016; “Precedent” Elect Trump: A Potentially “Unpresidented” Disaster

“Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest –
and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure,
it’s not your fault.”
(Donald J. Trump Verified account
@realDonaldTrump)

One might easily describe the above quote as being “unpresidented” — coming, as it did, from the current “Precedent” Elect of the United States.

******

In four weeks — on Friday January 20 2017 — the occupancy of the White House will be radically changed, as will the tenor of the country. The President will no longer be an educated and highly intelligent Moderate Liberal Progressive; it will be, instead, an Unintelligent and Egomaniacal Narcissist, a Pathological Liar who cares nothing about anything in the world other than the admiration he manages to garner for himself from others, from those of low intelligence to those viewed as rich and/or powerful, from any corner of the earth and anywhere in between. The sad reality remains, however, that Donald J. Trump is little more than a uniquely unqualified stooge of corporate and political interests, both local and global, a thesis supported by his selections of his Cabinet chairs and advisory staff.

There is but one bottom line to all of this: we do not know just how severe will be the consequences of this, our greatest political blunder in at least the last 100 years. The only thing that we can be assured of is that those consequences will be nasty, possibly even fatal, to our Democratic Republic unless we the people can somehow find the means of curtailing the process, quickly, in each and every instance. Anything short of that and our collective regret will be the equivalent of that once famous “shot heard round the world” redirected, this time, at ourselves.

Over just the last few days, numerous articles on numerous websites have turned up, each and all of which speak to and describe what are perceived to be various consequences of the upcoming Donald J. Trump “presidency.” The essays include detailed discussions of reasons why we find ourselves embedded in our dilemma, plus a handful of suggestions of means to alleviate said dilemma. Below, in no particular order, are a number of links that each discuss varying aspects of the overall question: Why/how Trump? I’ve selected and included a quoted portion of each link to help tweak imaginations, quotes which, taken together, paint a rather dismal picture of America’s new homemade dilemma.

Paul Krugman uncovers chilling parallels between Trump, fascism and the fall of the Roman Republic

The parallels between the rise of fascism in the 1930s and the dawning of the Trump era are already frighteningly clear. So, Paul Krugman thought he’d do a little light reading about ancient Rome to take his mind off of the whole upsetting situation. Instead, he found some scary “contemporary resonances of some Roman history — specifically, the tale of how the Roman Republic fell,” he writes in Monday’s column.

The Republican Sabotage of the Vote Recounts in Michigan and Wisconsin

Michigan officials declared in late November that Trump won the state’s count by 10,704 votes. But hold on — a record 75,355 ballots were not counted.

The uncounted ballots came mostly from Detroit and Flint, majority-Black cities that vote Democratic.

According to the machines that read their ballots, these voters waited in line, sometimes for hours, yet did not choose a president. Really?

The Constitution of the United States has failed

What kind of nation allows the loser of a national election to become president — and then does it again 16 years later?

What kind of nation retains an electoral process that was originally designed to inflate the influence of slaveholders?

What kind of nation permits its Congress to write a time bomb into law that periodically forces rival factions into a game of chicken that could wreck the world economy?

What kind of nation fights a civil war over the question of whether people of African descent are people or property, and then looks the other way when the loser ignores the resolution of that war? What kind of nation waits until 1965 to guarantee black people’s right to vote?

[. . .]

The new Constitution explicitly protected slavery. It allowed slave states to count each slave as three-fifths of a person for purposes of calculating representation in the House and the Electoral College, even though those slaves could not vote. And it created the Senate, an anti-democratic body which today counts each person in Wyoming as 67 times more important than each person in California. (highlights added)

The Electoral College was explicitly designed to protect slavery

We know the Electoral College is deeply undemocratic. Presidential electors are allocated by adding the two senators to the number of representatives each state gets. Thus the smallest states have proportionally more power in electing the president than the large ones. In 2016 Donald Trump won 66 electoral votes from 14 small states, with a total population of about 26,300,000. Hillary Clinton won 55 electoral votes from California, with a population of 37,254,000. The math is clear. Twenty-six million people substantially outvoted thirty-seven million people. Something is clearly wrong.

How did we get such an insane, undemocratic system for choosing our president? The answer, oddly enough is because of slavery. The system was explicitly designed to protect slavery. One hundred and fifty years after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery, this proslavery provision lurks in our political backyard, like some horrible monster, waiting to spring on us to undermine the very notion of democratic government in the world’s oldest constitutional democracy.

Three professors of psychiatry call for ‘neuropsychiatric evaluation’ of Trump out of fears he’s mentally ill

. . . Judith Herman, M.D. a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School — along with two professors who taught at the University of California, San Francisco — made the appeal to Obama based upon their “grave concern” after watching Trump’s antics.

“We are writing to express our grave concern regarding the mental stability of our President-Elect,” the letter reads. “Professional standards do not permit us to venture a diagnosis for a public figure whom we have not evaluated personally.”

“His widely reported symptoms of mental instability — including grandiosity, impulsivity, hypersensitivity to slights or criticism, and an apparent inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality — lead us to question his fitness for the immense responsibilities of the office,” it continues. “We strongly recommend that, in preparation for assuming these responsibilities, he receive a full medical and neuropsychiatric evaluation by an impartial team of investigators.”

A dire prediction for Trump’s first 100 days

If Trump is sworn in as president, there will be a terrorist attack on U.S. soil within his first 100 days. [Editor’s note: Or anytime early in his term; the results would be the same.] In response to this terrorist attack, pundits will say America must rally behind the president, that we must put the disputed election, the CIA intelligence of tampering, the bruised egos and hurt feelings behind us and come together to fight the outside threat. And we’ll do it, and Trump will no longer be the unpopular buffoon in office with a giant asterisk and no mandate. He will be entrenched on the throne.

The attack will happen either because groups that have been plotting for years recognize the first days in the reign of a uniquely unqualified puppet of corporate interests as an opportunity (see here), or it will occur with the complicity of Trump’s corporate interests and their shadowy intelligence services in order to shore up support for their uniquely unqualified stooge.

The daily revelations of Trump’s ties to Russian intelligence services and business interests, as well as his appointment of Russian “Order of Friendship” winner Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, make this dire prediction plausible. (highlights added)

American neo-Nazis believe Vladimir Putin is the heralded savior of white people — here’s why

. . . Many white nationalists apparently believe that Putin — thanks in part to the deep alliance he has formed with the Russian Orthodox Church and his support for laws aimed at repressing Russia’s LGBT community — stands alone as a defender of traditional European Christian values.

“I really believe that Russia is the leader of the free world right now,” white nationalist Matthew Heimbach recently told Business Insider. “Putin is supporting nationalists around the world and building an anti-globalist alliance, while promoting traditional values and self-determination.”

Similarly, notorious white nationalist Richard Spencer — who is married to a Russian scholar who publishes pro-Putin propaganda — has declared that Russia is now “the most powerful white power in the world” that should be seen as a model for other white-majority nations to follow.

And Steve Bannon, who will serve as chief strategist in the Trump White House, has said that even though he believes Putin is a kleptocrat, people who consider themselves part of the “Judeo-Christian West really have to look at what [Putin is] talking about as far as traditionalism goes — particularly the sense of where it supports the underpinnings of nationalism” that he would like to see the United States embrace.

Donald Trump’s questionable intelligence: All those false claims about his academic record and derision of others bespeak profound insecurity

Donald Trump says he doesn’t need daily intelligence briefings.

“I’m, like, a smart person,” he told Fox News’ Chris Wallace last weekend, explaining why he’ll be the first president since Harry Truman to avoid getting daily updates from intelligence professionals about national security threats.

During and since his campaign, Trump has evoked these two themes. First, he’s skeptical of intelligence. Second, he’s smart.

The first is obviously true. The second is a matter of dispute.

[. . .]

Trump frequently communicates via Twitter, which is not a good venue for displaying one’s linguistic prowess, but many observers have noted that Trump has a difficult time expressing himself and speaking in complete sentences. A linguistic analysis last year by Politico found that Trump speaks at a fourth-grade level. A study by researchers at Carnegie-Mellon University compared this year’s Republican and Democratic presidential candidates in terms of their vocabulary and grammar. Trump’s scored at a fifth-grade level, the lowest of all the candidates. Some might suspect that this is not an intellectual shortcoming but instead Trump’s calculated way of communicating with a wide audience. But Tony Schwartz, who spent a great deal of time with the developer while ghostwriting his book “The Art of the Deal,” noted that Trump has a very limited vocabulary. It would hardly be surprising if these observations infuriated the vain and insecure Trump. (highlights added)

Drowning the world in oil: Trump’s carbon-obsessed energy policy and the planetary nightmare to come

Scroll through Donald Trump’s campaign promises or listen to his speeches and you could easily conclude that his energy policy consists of little more than a wish list drawn up by the major fossil fuel companies: lift environmental restrictions on oil and natural gas extraction, build the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, open more federal lands to drilling, withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, kill Obama’s Clean Power Plan, revive the coal mining industry, and so on and so forth ad infinitum. In fact, many of his proposals have simply been lifted straight from the talking points of top energy industry officials and their lavishly financed allies in Congress.

If, however, you take a closer look at this morass of pro-carbon proposals, an obvious, if as yet unnoted, contradiction quickly becomes apparent. Were all Trump’s policies to be enacted — and the appointment of the climate-change denier and industry-friendly attorney general of Oklahoma, Scott Pruitt, to head the Environmental Protection Agency suggests the attempt will be made — not all segments of the energy industry will flourish. Instead, many fossil fuel companies will be annihilated, thanks to the rock-bottom fuel prices produced by a colossal oversupply of oil, coal and natural gas.

Indeed, stop thinking of Trump’s energy policy as primarily aimed at helping the fossil fuel companies (although some will surely benefit). Think of it instead as a nostalgic compulsion aimed at restoring a long-vanished America in which coal plants, steel mills and gas-guzzling automobiles were the designated indicators of progress, while concern over pollution — let alone climate change — was yet to be an issue.

Follow The Money, See Why Trump Is Putin’s Useful Idiot

. . . Putin’s intent to seriously damage Hillary Clinton versus the unexpectedly propitious outcome of actually installing a flawed lunatic like Donald Trump paid dividends. Only eight months later, just one month after Election Day, this happened: Fortune Magazine reported:

Russia said on Wednesday it sold a stake in oil giant Rosneft for 10.5 billion €uros ($11.3 billion) to Qatar and commodities trader Glencore.

That $11.3 billion profit certainly makes a Trump victory seem much more financially appealing to the Kremlin indeed. ALWAYS follow the money. This election windfall really helps Putin mitigate losses from those sanctions that Trump will end, that have been costly and inconvenient.

It was personal too. Hillary Clinton not only supported the sanctions, but made it crystal clear that as President she would continue a hard line against Syria and Russia’s brutality. Not only would the current economic sanctions remain in place, but she promised more actions. Hillary was Putin’s number one threat to his power and to his country’s economic stability.

Vladimir Putin has proven to be nothing more than another brutal dictator. He will do anything—including murder—to maintain enormous power, thwart any and all perceived threats to him and Russia, while personally enriching himself with riches that no one covets more than Donald Trump. Trump’s entanglements present another problem: blackmail. Just a few weeks before the election, not that it mattered, Slate’s Franklin Foer broke this incredible story on Russia’s Alpha Bank server, which is installed in—yes, it’s true—Trump Tower! Funny how Corporate Media buried that story tout de suite.

REVEALED: Secretary of State pick Rex Tillerson is director of off-shore Russia oil firm

According to leaked documents provided to Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung and then shared with the Center for Public Integrity, President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to serve as Secretary of State is a director of an off-shore firm involved in oil and gas operations in Russia.

The documents, given by an anonymous source, reveal that ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson has been a director of the oil company’s Russian subsidiary, Exxon Neftegas, since 1998 — based in the corporate tax-haven of the Bahamas.

While it was known that Tillerson was named president of Exxon Neftegas that same year, his position as a director on a board with other members based in Moscow and in Sakhalin was not previously known.

According to the documents, Exxon Neftegas managed a major oil and gas project near the island of Sakhalin in Russia’s Far East. Following Tillerson’s promotion to CEO, ExxonMobil began a partnership with Russian state-owned company Rosneft to expand oil exploration.

I suppose I could write the better part of a thick book whilst summarizing what I think about Trump, the Republican Party (aka the American Fascist Movement), white supremacists, white nationalists, neo-Nazis, the money- and power-grubbing corporate world, Wall Street greed, fossil fuels, Anthropogenic Climate Disruption, Russian attempts (successful) to influence the election, Trump’s selections for Cabinet and staff, even the Constitutional shortfalls that allowed the selection of the popular vote loser to gain the presidency — the list is roughly as endless as is my outrage over the entire picture. But I won’t; at my age, there’s not enough time. Instead, I’ll simply add a few “summarizing” images that I’ve captured from myriad internet locations. There’s no attribution available for any of them, but they will amply serve as the closing paragraph as well as amplify a great deal of the nonsense that we the people have been subjected to over the last number of months.

q-for-trump-supporters

what-could-go-wrong

not-my-precedent

putin-trump-1

A recommendation:

boycott-inauguration

There. ‘Nuff said.

******

Final thought:

And where is now (our) hope?
As for (our) hope, who shall see it?
They shall go down to the bars of the pit,
When our rest together is in the dust.
(Job 17:15-16)

******

OPEN THREAD

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26 thoughts on “The Watering Hole; Th/Fr December 22/23 2016; “Precedent” Elect Trump: A Potentially “Unpresidented” Disaster

  1. First, Trump is not stupid. He has the intelligence, the intuitive sense, of a con man. He knows how to play the crowd and excels at it.

    Second, we no longer have a Democratic Republic, and have been merely living under the illusion of being in a democracy for the past few decades. Our government has been in control of the oligarchs for a long time. Now, for the first time, they no longer hide in the shadows. Seventeen of them make up Trump’s Cabinet.

    • I think we disagree on the meaning of “stupid.” IMHO, the word is not necessarily an antonym for ‘intelligence’, is not necessarily suggestive of a low IQ. Various dictionary definitions of ‘stupid’ include “tediously dull, especially due to lack of meaning or sense; inane; pointless; annoying or irritating; troublesome; lacking in common sense,” each and all of which, to my mind, readily define Trump, his various aspects, actions, patterns, etc. As Forrest Gump noted, “Stupid is as stupid does.” Stated another way, one’s actions reflect one’s true intelligence: a person is stupid if s/he does stupid things. Trump is an egomaniac, a narcissist, a pathological liar, and has no empathy for any other person or for civilization in its entirety. In effect, his sole interest is the godlike creature he sees himself to be, a concept which is “tediously dull, especially due to lack of meaning or sense; inane; pointless; annoying or irritating; troublesome; lacking in common sense,” ergo STUPID!

      In re the “Democratic Republic” concept, I can easily argue that we’ve never even approached that pinnacle, thanks to our history of First People genocide, our two-plus centuries of slavery tolerance, plus Jim Crow, misogyny, today’s voter suppression, xenophobia, and Islamophobia. We — USA — have NEVER been that which we love to claim, and the likelihood that we ever will attain that pinnacle is infinitesimally tiny — and will remain such so long as fear, hate, and greed define us, our actions and our goals.

      We are human, after all, and though humans see themselves as the “intelligent” species, they/we remain, nonetheless, STUPID*.

      *See Donald J. Trump: (today’s) quintessential example.

  2. Jewish family flees home after conservative media falsely blame them for Christmas play cancellation

    The family pulled their child from the school and have left the area, at least temporarily, reported Lancaster Online.

    “There’s no way we’re going to take a chance after the pizza incident,” a family member told the website, referring to the “pizzagate” conspiracy theory that prompted a North Carolina man to fire a gun while self-investigating bogus reports circulating on conservative websites.

    The family told the website they had not complained about the play, but had asked for their child to be excused from the performance — and officials allowed that.

    The parents said their child had been harassed by classmates since the performance was canceled last month.

    Seems as though with every passing day, Amurkkka becomes evermore filled with and driven by HATE. Why is that, I wonder? This here country is god’s all time fave, ain’t it?

  3. Hi, everybody.

    I have not been able to convince my doctor to place me in a medically induced coma for the next several years so I am considering some action to preserve my health. Since all the news is merely serving to increase my blood pressure and anxiety level, and my current contract for internet service is about to expire, I just might decide to go without said service until I feel healthy enough to deal with all the bad news. Please don’t worry if I disappear for a month or three. If I do “cut the cord” I will leave instructions for a friend to inform you if I expire but, until and unless that happens, please assume that I am alive and struggling and trying to do good things for myself and others.

    Cheers!

    • I understand, pete. You have to do what’s best for your health – we don’t want to lose you to Trumpitis!

      Have a relaxing Christmas and get yourself well. Pop in now and again if you feel like it. All the best to you and your loved ones.

    • A coma doesn’t sound all that bad!…stay in touch Pete, I know what you mean about taking break from it all. I’ve been limiting myself to the abuse, and feel much better for doing so.

      • True enough, Zooey, but I tend to be an all or nothing kind of guy. I have a few days to make my decision, whether to cut the cord or not, and I will examine all the angles. I have erased a few links and that has helped.

        Cheers!

          • Thanks, Zooey. I won’t go too far or for too long. I’m incurably curious and more than a bit stubborn. But? I need to take some steps to keep what remains of my sanity. Plus; the timing might give me a chance to scrape a few extra bucks together to get me through winter.

  4. Heard this morning on Sergeant Preston of the Yukon: ‘Someday somebody’s going to invent a camera you can carry in your back pocket.’

  5. I think Trump wants his inauguration to become a ‘target-rich’ environment. Can’t have a beauty pageant? Hire a bunch of young women dancers instead.

    • Link? Doesn’t work.

      I don’t watch the news anymore, can’t stand the sight and sound of that loser.

      I am, however and instead, already halfway thru my third pass of binge watching Frasier on Netflix. At least there I can laugh at the abject stupidity rather than having to wish for the end of the world.

  6. “Make Amurkkka Hate Again,” a study of “unpresidented” Republican Rationality.

    Carl Paladino Wishes President Obama Dead Of Mad Cow And Michelle To Live With An Ape

    Artvoice: What would you most like to happen in 2017?

    Carl Paladino: Obama catches mad cow disease after being caught having relations with a Herford. He dies before his trial and is buried in a cow pasture next to Valerie Jarret, who died weeks prior, after being convicted of sedition and treason, when a Jihady cell mate mistook her for being a nice person and decapitated her.

    Artvoice: What would you most like to see go in 2017?

    Carl Paladino: Michelle Obama. I’d like her to return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla.

    Paladino verified to The Buffalo News that he did make the comments, while at the same time slamming News editors for inquiring.

    “Of course I did,” he said Friday morning. “Tell them all to go f— themselves.”

    • Apparently, this idiot friend of Drumpfukle’s thinks that having sex with a bovine will give you mad cow disease. Just another racist pig in Drumpfukle’s pen.

      • Paladino’s mad cow disease has already reached Stage Four. It’s a wonder he still remembers how he got it.

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